Cognitive Distortions – Intro (Part 2)

universe 2 

It’s just fine, thank you very much!

PREVIOUS: CDs – Intro (Part 1)

SITE : Cognitive Distortions QUIZ

QUOTE: “The most dangerous of all falsehoods is a slightly distorted truth.” – Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

3. NOTE to ACoAs
LOGICAL Argument
It consists of one or more premises (assertions, hypotheses) & one conclusion that’s offered in support of the claims being made – each being either a T or F declarative statement. If any one of these components is in error, the whole argument becomes invalid

👁‍🗨 Knowing what our CDs are & then correcting them, a day-at-a-time, is very important – even tho it’s not as ‘sexy’ as some topics – because keeping these ideas in mind will help counter our:
✓ frustration at the slowness of change in Recovery
✓ discomfort & awkwardness in trying out new thinking or activities
✓ self-hate for the way we’ve been functioning most of our life
✓ confusion & misunderstanding about the causes of our pain, now

CDs are part of our Wounded Inner Child (WIC) ego state, in agreement with the Bad Parent voice (PP).
When negative or harmful beliefs – hidden from ourselves in the unconscious – contradict the good things we consciously want, no matter how sincerely, which one wins?
Of course, the bad ones, because they’ve been with us the longest & they connect us to our family.

“The human body & mind are highly receptive to the messages & feelings put out by the thinker (YOU). How we feel about ourselves impacts how we function. When you think, “I’m ugly / I’m stupid / I’m no good / I’m fat….,” your body & mind assumes it’s true. Consciously & subconsciously, these beliefs impact & impair delicate functions of physical & mental processes — including the immune system – restricting the flow of creativity, holistic thought, self-expression & joy.” Modified from
To heal, we have to identify & own the CDs. Then slowly, gently replace them.

CDs are profound MISUNDERSTANDINGS about:
a. Other people’s motivations (He didn’t call me again because I’m boring)
b. The meaning or importance of one particular event  (I didn’t get that job so I’ll never be able to do what I love)
c. The likelihood that a similar circumstance will happen again (No one talked to me at that event so there’s no point in ever going there again)
d. The outcome or consequences of a particular situation  (Since I can’t learn a foreign language, I’m ever going to be able to travel, even though I’d love to)

WHY are CDs so ‘appealing’?
It’s not enough to say they’re a familiar & very longstanding mental habit. This is true physically (see previous post re. the brain), but the other piece is psychological / emotional – they provide the Negative Benefits which keep them in play

• Some CDs reinforce our WIC’s grandiose sense of responsibility for everything that happens to us & around us

• Others provide a misguided sense of stability. Since our childhood was unpredictable & dishonest & chaotic, the rigid absoluteness of CDs makes it seem like we have something concrete to rely on for ‘guidance’
• Some keep us enslaved to our self-hate & harmful people or situations
• Others keep us so confused by their incomplete info & incorrect conclusions that we can stay in a mental fog (dissociated) without having to figure out what we truly believe or need

And ALL of them maintain a ‘black-hat / deep state’ connection to our dysfunctional past. Consistently obeying CDs rules of any kind means we don’t have to think for ourselves, & so never have to S & I, or become responsible for our own freedom!

Aaron Beck first proposed the theory behind C.D.s (1967) and David Burns (1980) was responsible for popularizing it with common names and examples.
Freeman & DeWolf (1992) and Freeman & Oster (1999) added: Externalization of self-worth; Comparison; Perfectionism.
Gilson & Freeman (1999) identified eight other C.D.s: the Fallacies of Change; of Worrying; of Fairness; of Ignoring; of Being right; of Attachment; of Control; of Heaven’s reward.

NEXT: CDs – Examples

ACoA CONCLUSIONS re. Painful Events (Part 2a)


– & I hate everyone!


5 POSTS: Emotional abuse

See ACRONYM page for abbrev.

 THINKING (cont)
💦 It’s ALL ME (victim)

🔩 IT’S ALL THEM – Perpetrators
THEY are crazy, mean, unfair, stupid, stupid, stupid!

NOTE : Parts 1 a-b & 2 a-c are about what ACoAs THINK, when having a painful run-in with someone. Depending on the type of Ts (thoughts / beliefs / assumptions / judgements), how we behave tells us which specific but disowned emotions are triggered – anger, paranoia, fear or counter-phobia (between green & pink)

🔻 Being a “Perpetrator” is not always about committing a crime, domestic abuse or sexual assault. It can show up as being a “negative downer, passive-aggressive , withholding ….”, & often comes in the form of “blaming-the victim”, as many of othinling re eventsur parents did – which is emotionally assaultive

When telling our parents about being mistreated in the neighborhood, at school, a boyfriend, a boss…. we heard : “So, what did you do?” Their cruelty enraged us, but set the model for becoming a blamer as well

The Co-dependent Triangle – Victim. Perpetrator. Rescuer,
(stay away, or push away or connect by placating)

Every ACoA can switch between them at a moment’s notice – depending on the person or situation, but some live in one role more than the others

🔩 IT’S ALL THEM  crazy, mean, unfair, stupid, stupid, stupid!
⚙️Our Core emotion is ANGER

In the ‘CONCLUSIONS’ category, the opposite reactions to Victim is expressed by the overtly rageful ACoAs. These attack anything & anyone we think have hurt us, whether real or not, because we can’t bear to take any responsibility for our T.E.A.s!

We passionately believe all our troubles are always other people’s fault – no matter how minor or unimportant the situation – & not just occasionally, as everyone sometimes feels, but as a life-pattern
Carl is having a bad week. His computer isn’t working right & he can’t figure it out.  He gets an unexpected bill in the mail, & there’s no hot water.  He makes it to an interview for a gig but the club owner never shows, & to top it off, someone cuts him off on the way home.

He’s in a rage! He storms around, yelling at anyone who gets in his way. He’s so upset that he drives too fast & almost gets in an accident! “That @%!! incompetent  Â؈ÒÏ! I can’t believe the stupidity! They shouldn’t be allowed to live”…!

•Yes, S— happens – often out of our control, although not every day! But Ragers can’t bear to ever feel powerless, so we use the defense of Blaming all our pain on others. It does not mean we should be blaming ourselves.

This approach to life is just as narcissistic as the Victims’ – “Everything is about me” – just from opposite poles. Both types are convinced we’re the butt of a cosmic joke, the universe is the cause of our suffering, dedicated to preventing us from being happy or getting our most fundamental needs met – to be loved & feel safe.

While the overtly fearful ACoAs believe they have caused every tragedy, the obviously angry ones feel victimized & totally blameless. They step on other people’s feelings & barely notice. They complain, complain, complain – not an a whiney way, but with criticism, cynicism, judgement, & sarcasm.

Their general attitude is:
• Nothing is my fault or responsibility
• Nothing matters but MY needs, opinions & feelings
• Everything & everyone is doing / not doing – something – TO me.
• Everyone (but me) is weak & stupid!
• Every delay, disappointment, flaw, mistake… from others, is disrespectful & a personal affront

EXPs: • You’re always — . You never —-
• Everyone’s so ignorant – I can’t have a decent conversation
• This place is too small. I just can’t stand it
• Look at that ugly dress. How can she show her face?
• What a lousy movie & waste of my time
• This food is awful – send it back! & the waiters are so lazy
• Look at that stupid driver. Get off the road!
• That’s HOW much? That’s outrageous
• Going there was a waste of my money ….

NEXT: CONCLUSIONS – Paranoia (2b)